A dress or wedding gown is the dress of the bride during the wedding ceremony. Color, style and ceremonial importance of the gown can depend on the religion and culture of the participants of the wedding.
Weddings performed during and immediately after the Middle Ages were often more than a union between two people. It may be a union between two families, two businesses or even two countries. Many weddings are more about politics than love, particularly among the nobility and upper classes. Brides were therefore expected to dress in a way that put them in their families, the most favorable light, because they are not representing only themselves during the ceremony. Brides of wealthy families often had unique colors and fabrics. It was common to see those using bold colors and layers of furs, velvet and silk.
Wedding dresses have traditionally been based on the popular styles of the time. For example, in the 1920's, wedding dresses were typically short in the front with a longer train in the back and were used for wedding veils style cloche. This tendency to follow current fashions continued until the end of 1940, when it became popular to revert to design long, full skirted reminiscent of the Victorian era. Although there has always been a style that dominates the bridal market for a while, and moves with changes in fashion, a growing number of modern brides are choosing not to follow these trends. This is largely due to non-traditional weddings are not for the first time, and women who marry later in life.
Today, western wedding dresses are usually white, although "white wedding" includes creamy shades like eggshell, ecru and ivory. Philippa of England was actually the princess documented for the first time in history to wear a white wedding gown during a real wedding ceremony, wearing a robe with a white silk cloak lined with ermine and gray squirrel.
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